Mithali Raj is an Indian cricketer who is famous for being the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket. She is often attributed as ‘Lady Sachin.’
Mithali Raj was born as ‘Mithali Dorai Raj’ on 3 December 1982 (age 36 years; as in 2018) in the Jodhpur City of Rajasthan. Her zodiac sign is Saggitarius.
She attended Keyes High School for Girls in Secunderabad and completed her intermediate studies from Kasturba Gandhi Junior College for Women in West Marredpally (Secunderabad).
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Boyfriend
Mithali Raj belongs to a Tamil Family. Her father, Dorai Raj is an ex-Airman (Warrant Officer) of the Indian Air Force and then worked at Andhra Bank. Her mother, Leela Raj worked with the engineering instruments division of Lawrence and Mayo. She has an elder brother named Mithun Raj.
Mithali Raj made her One Day International debut on 26 June 1999 against Ireland at Milton Keynes and scored unbeaten 114 runs. She made her test debut on 14 January 2002 against South Africa at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Mithali made her T20 debut on 5 August 2006 against England at Derby. She announced her retirement from T20 Internationals, on 3 September 2019.
Jersey Number: #3 (India)
Batting Style: Right Hand
Bowling Style: Legbreak
Favourite Shot: Cover Drive
- Air India Women
- Asia Women XI
- India Blue Women
- Jyoti Prasad
- Sampath Kumar
- Vinod Sharma
- R. S. R. Murthy
- She was involved in a controversy with the cricket management due to her attitude towards the game during 2018 ICC Women’s World T20. In a letter to BCCI, Mithali accused Ramesh Powar and BCCI COA member Diana Edulji of being biased towards her for not including her in the T20 World Cup semifinals. In response, Ramesh criticised her and said that she threatened to retire from cricket when asked to play down the batting order. He added, “despite being a senior player in the team she puts in minimum inputs in team meetings. She could not understand & adapt to the team plan. She ignored her role and batted for own milestones. Lack of keeping the momentum going which was putting extra pressure on other batters.”
- Mithali’s relationship with T-20 cricket captain, Harmanpreet Kaur is also said to have been strained.
- The highest run scorer in women’s international cricket.
- Holds the records for the 2nd highest score in women’s test cricket, with 214 runs against England in the second and final tests at Taunton in 2002.
- The first women cricketer to score 7 consecutive half-centuries in ODIs. Overall, Javed Miandad is the only player ahead of her, with 9 consecutive 50+ scores.
- In July 2017, she surpassed England’s Charlotte Edwards’ (5992) runs to become the highest run-scorer in Women’s ODI.
- The first female cricketer to play 200 ODIs.
- The first Indian and the 5th women cricketer overall to score over 1,000 World Cup runs.
- Playing the most consecutive Women’s One Day internationals for a team (109).
- The only player (male/female) to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005 and 2017.
- On 1 February 2019, during India’s series against New Zealand Women, she became the first woman to play 200 ODI matches.
- First women to win the Wisden Indian Cricketer of the year in 2015.
- First woman cricketer to have an international career lasting more than 20 years. She achieved the feat during the first ODI of the three-match series between India and South Africa in Vadodara on 9 October 2019.
Awards & Honours
- Arjuna Award in 2003
- Padma Shri 2015
- Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Year 2015
- Youth Sports Icon Excellence Award at Radiance Wellness Conclave, Chennai in 2017
- Vogue Sportsperson of the Year at Vogue’s 10th Anniversary in 2017
- Listed on BBC 100 Women List 2017
- Cricketer: Michael Clarke, Sachin Tendulkar
- Food: Thick curds-rice, Prawn Curry
- Actress: Priyanka Chopra
- Book: The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks
- Poet: Rumi
- Dance Form: Bharatanatyam
She earns approximately Rs. 50 Lakh annually.
- Mithali’s mother, Leela, terms Mithali’s entry into cricket as a complete coincidence. As she grew up, she followed her brother, Mithun, in whatever he used to do. Soon, she started developing an interest in cricket by accompanying her brother to his 6 am coaching class at St. John’s Cricket Academy, Secunderabad.
- While Mithun and other boys practised, Mithun’s coach Jyoti Prasad would often play a side game of cricket with the six-year-old Mithali for a time pass.
- Jyoti Prasad recognised cricket skills of Mithali Raj and suggested to her father that he should concentrate on Mithali instead of his son. Jyoti even suggested her parents a coach of National Institute of Sports named Sampath Kumar.
- Thereafter, she joined Sampath Kumar’s girls’ cricket sports Glory Club for about 2 months, where he noticed her.
- Mithali’s parents didn’t take Sampath Kumar seriously when he told them that Mithali had the potential to play for the country. Sampath was so confident about Mithali’s skills that he further told her parents,
Mithali is playing-for-the-country material. I, as a coach, I can take the challenge. But as parents, I need you guys also then only I can work on it… I will want her to play for the country when she’s 14 years. Sachin Tendulkar had a record, so why not we make this girl?”
- At the age of 9, she was selected to play for the state in the sub-junior tournament under the mentorship of Sampath Kumar. She was the youngest to do so.
- Mithali played her first match outside her hometown when she was chosen for sub-juniors and was expected to travel to Jalandhar, 2000 km away.
- Thereafter, she started going in and out of her home for more than 15 to 20 days a month, travelling every part of the country.
- After sub-juniors, she went on to be selected for the junior and senior team, successively.
- At every stage, Mithali’s parents stood beside her, her mother resigned from her job to take care of Mithali’s meals and when her coach asked his parents not to make Mithali travel by public transport, her mother drove her to practice on two-wheelers.
- When the World Cup 1997 was approaching, Mithali, at the age of 14, was selected as a probable. However, she couldn’t make it to the team.
- She then began representing the domestic teams, first AIR India, then railways.
- When Mithali made her ODI debut, sadly, her coach wasn’t there to see his prediction come true as he had died in an accident 2 years before.
- Her first love was dance, but she chose cricket over it. She did Bharatanatyam till her class 8.
- She loves reading and often takes out time to read stories and novels.
- In October 2017, Mithali appeared on the cover of Vogue India Magazine along with Shah Rukh Khan and Nita Ambani.
- She is a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan and appeared on the TV Show Kaun Banega Crorepati, in September 2017.
- After reaching the finals of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, Mithali and her team received applauds from many dignitaries including the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
- In 2017, Viacom 18 obtained the rights to make the biopic on her life. When asked about her choice of actress for the film, she said, “I think Priyanka Chopra will be a great choice.” However, Taapsee Pannu is slated to portray her role in her biopic “Shabaash Mithu.”